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November 2003
Brag Bowling, President         Rob Monroe, Editor     
3019 Kensington Ave             2416 Edenbrook Dr.     
Richmond, VA 23221              Richmond, VA 23228-3040

November 2003 PROGRAM Robert K. Krick "The Confederate Pattons" 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 11, 2003, at the Willow Oaks Country Club, 6228 Forest Hill Ave. Robert K. Krick grew up in Northern California. He has lived and worked on east coast battlefields for more than thirty-five years. For thirty years he was Chief Historian of Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park. Krick is the author of fourteen books and more than one hundred published articles. His Stonewall Jackson at Cedar Mountain (University of North Carolina Press, 1990) won three national awards, including the Douglas Southall Freeman Prize for Best Book in Southern History. Krick's Conquering the Valley: Stonewall Jackson at Port Republic (William Morrow & Co., 1996) was a main selection of the History Book Club and a selection of the Book of the Month Club. His latest book, from Louisiana State University Press (Feb. 2002), is The Smoothbore Volley That Doomed the Confederacy: The Death of Stonewall Jackson and Other Chapters on the Army of Northern Virginia. Krick is currently under contract to the United States Marine Corps to produce panels and texts and captions for the mammoth new National Museum of the Marine Corps that is under design near Quantico. Krick's topic is the fertile and militant Patton family of Fredericksburg, Culpeper, and Richmond. The family contributed several distinguished officers to the Army of Northern Virginia, including the grandfather and several great uncles of the renowned World War II Patton.
Review of the October Program
Larry Hewitt
"You learn more by writing on a topic than by simply reading about it." Larry Hewitt opened his presentation on Robert E. Lee and his efforts to win the Civil War with this admonition. Having read and studied about Lee's strategy for many years, Hewitt decided to take that extra step and summarized for the audience his initial thoughts and findings. He then asked, "Has too much been written on Gettysburg?" His answer is "no." Hewitt concluded that much that has been written about the battle is bad or simply wrong. Hewitt's next question was "Could the Confederacy have won the Civil War?" He believes strongly that the Confederacy might have succeeded in gaining its independence. Pointing to several modern historians who share his point of view, Hewitt said that Charles Roland was the first of those historians to say that Lee was a great general and that the Confederacy could have won. Hewitt argued that there is a difference between winning and not losing. Lee believed the Confederacy could have secured victory on the battlefield and fashioned his strategy accordingly. Jefferson Davis and the Confederate cabinet supported Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania in the summer of 1863. Hewitt argued that Davis was very close to Lee in his views on strategy despite what other historians have written. Davis abandoned the cordon defense and began supporting a strategy of concentration for the rest of the war. Looking at Gettysburg, Hewitt stated that the Confederate failure on July 1 was due to General William N. Pendleton's failure to bombard Cemetery Hill that afternoon. Such a barrage would have signaled to General Richard Ewell that Lee wanted an attack on that position. On the morning of July 2, Lee planned to renew the battle and win a decisive victory. Hewitt supports the view that Lee was pleased with General James Longstreet's actions that afternoon. The en echelon attacks were working. General Richard Anderson's division was supposed to continue the assaults, but two of his brigades (Mahone's and Posey's) did not advance. General William D. Pender saw that something was wrong and rode south to find out what had happened. Pender received what would be a mortal wound, and the whole attack stalled. Anderson was culpable for the failure that day. At the end of July 2, six Union brigades were facing nearly three times that many Confederate brigades. Although a few things went wrong for Lee, the day had gone so well that he had to attack again on July 3. The attack that Lee had intended to make failed to come off. Ewell's men were to attack the Union right flank. Union commander, General George G. Meade, weakened his center to support his flanks. As we know, Lee's plan did not work, and the Confederates lost the battle. Hewitt concluded that of the seventeen reasons presented by Scott Bowden and Bill Ward for the Confederates' losing the battle, only four could in any reasonable way be attributed to Lee-(1) the breakdown of the attacks on July 2, (2) A.P. Hill's mishandling of his Third Corps, (3) the failure of Second Corps senior officers to coordinate their movements, and (4) Lee's inadequate staff size and faulty organizational structure. According to Hewitt, four Confederates deserve censure for the army's failure at Gettysburg prior to the morning of July 3-William Mahone, Carnot Posey, Richard Anderson, and William Pendleton.
Upcomming Events
November 15-16 Capital of the Confederacy Civil War Show at the Richmond Raceway Complex, 600 E. Laburnum Ave. Civil War artifacts for sale, educational exhibits. 9 am - 5 pm Saturday, 9:30 am - 3 pm Sunday. $5. More information at 804-798-6817 or November 22 "Blue and Gray Ball" at Fauquier Springs Country Club in Warrenton. Civil War period clothing or black-tie. Fundraiser for the John Singleton Mosby Museum. 5:30 pm - midnight. $90 includes formal dinner. More information at 540-351-1600 or November 27-30 "Thanksgiving" living history at Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier near Petersburg. Features artillery demonstrations, food preparations and the construction of winter huts with the soldiers. More information at 1-877-PAMPLIN or December 6 "Visit with Civil War Santa" at Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier near Petersburg. Living history and a holiday sale at the Civil War Store. More information at 1-877-PAMPLIN or December 7 Christmas Open House and living history at the Miller-Kite House, Stonewall Jackson's headquarters, in Elkton. Noon - 5 pm. Donations are appreciated. More information at 540-298-1717 or 540-298-5390. December 8 Holiday Music Program at Old Salem Church off Route 3 west of Fredericksburg. 7 pm. More information at 540-373-6122 or
Positions Announced for 2004 Round Table
President - Art Bergeron First Vice President - Richard Forrester Second Vice President - Shep Parsons Secretary - Sandy Parker Treasurer - Richard Grosse Web Master - Gary Cowardin Executive Committee - Jack Ackerly, Bobby Krick, Sam Craghead
New Civil War Books
Some recent additions to Civil War literature: In the Presence of Mine Enemies: War in the Heart of America, 1859-1863 by Edward Ayres. An intimate look at two communities (Augusta County, Va. and Franklin County, Pa.) and how they initially sought to avoid war, but soon entered the conflict with vigor. Southern Lady, Yankee Spy: The True Story of Elizabeth Van Lew, a Union Agent in the Heart of the Confederacy by Elizabeth R. Varon. A comprehensive account of the Union sympathizer contemporary Richmonders dubbed "Crazy Bet". Vicksburg is the Key: The Struggle for the Mississippi River by William L. Shea and Terrence J. Winschel. A narrative of the Union campaigns that secured the river and Confederate strategies to break the siege.
Newsletter Deadlines To facilitate the printing and timely distribution of the monthly newsletter, information for it should be submitted to the editors no later than the following dates: December newsletter, November 21 Information may be emailed to
RCWRT Monthly Speakers for 2003
Richmond Civil War Round Table Newsletter Rob Monroe, Editor 2416 Edenbrook Dr. Richmond, VA 23228-3040

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©R.C.W.R.T. 2003